Art For Life: DIFFA Chicago

A high-energy evening of bidding, beverages, and bites—not to mention fundraising

The Second Annual Art For Life Chicago returns to Venue West for “an evening of bidding, beverages, and bites” and fundraising for those impacted by HIV/AIDS, on Thursday, October 18, 2018, starting at 6 p.m. The fundraiser, organized and sponsored by DIFFA Chicago (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids) will feature donated works from well-known established professional and emerging artists. Nearly sixty pieces of contemporary art, including painting, photography, sculpture, and other media, will be available for sale via live and silent auctions, ranging in price from $50 to $5,000. Exhibiting artists were selected by a jury of nationally-recognized art experts.

In addition to the live and silent bidding process, a group of artists have created “Off the Wall,” an opportunity for guests to purchase and cut a piece from a giant art canvas to create their own one-of-a-kind keepsake from the night.

Art for Life Chicago’s live auction, 2017. Photo courtesy Art for Life

“Art For Life Chicago is built on a belief in the power of change through creativity and community, and that the art world can help lead the way to a generation free of HIV/AIDS,” said Todd Baisch, Chairman of DIFFA/Chicago. “Funds raised will not only have a tremendous impact on those affected by HIV/AIDS, but also support participating artists with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their artwork and the opportunity to show in future pop-ups and exhibitions.”

In addition to Mr. Baisch, the Art For Life Chicago committee boasts Co-Chairs Oliver Aguilar of Gooch Design Studio, Matthew Lew of Matthew Lew Fine Art, and Franklin Riley of Fulton Market Gallery. Art For Life Chicago is part of the popular series of Art For Life events around the U.S., U.K. and Canada, including Russell Simmons’ Art For Life in the Hamptons, New York, and Art For Life LA, honoring Tina Knowles Larson and Shepard Fairey.

Tickets for Art For Life Chicago are priced at only $100, including cocktails, bites, and a DJ spinning tunes into the night. A limited number of VIP Pre-Party tickets are available for $150 on a first-to-reserve basis and include early access viewing, the opportunity to meet the artists and jurors, and a special gift for the first 50 VIP ticket purchasers.

DIFFA/Chicago is a not-for-profit fundraising and grant-making foundation that distributes funds to Chicago area HIV/AIDS Service agencies that provide direct services, preventative education and outreach to people who are HIV positive, living with AIDS or at risk for infection. Visit for tickets or call 312-644-6412. Early birds can start bidding online early starting October 15th at Venue West is at 221 N. Paulina Street, Chicago.

—Reporting by Hank Trout

Hank Trout, Editor at Large, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a thirty-eight-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his fiancé Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.